Book: Finding Home
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist: G.D. Leigh
Publication date: October 9, 2017
Length: 200 pages
Reviewed by Erin
How do you find a home when your heart is in ashes?
With their mum dead and their father on remand for her murder, Leo Hendry and his little sister, Lila, have nothing in the world but each other. Broken and burned, they’re thrust into the foster care system. Leo shields Lila from the fake families and forced affection, until the Poulton household is the only place left to go.
Charlie de Sousa is used to other kids passing through the Poulton home, but there’s never been anyone like his new foster brother. Leo’s physical injuries are plain to see, but it’s the pain in his eyes that draws Charlie in the most.
Day by day, they grow closer, but the darkness inside Leo consumes him. He rejects his foster parents, and when Charlie gets into trouble, Leo’s attempt to protect him turns violent. When Leo loses control, no one can reach him — except Charlie. He desperately needs a family—a home—and only Charlie can show him the way.
It should come as a surprise to exactly no one that Garrett Leigh can write the hell out of a YA (Young Adult) book. After all, the woman can do anything ... and do it brilliantly. Her YA book, Finding Home is no different and everything you'd expect from such a talented writer. Though the plot isn't anything that hasn't been done before, we are treated to Garrett's unique and emotional writing at it's best and you will fall in love with Leo and Charlie right away and root for them to find happiness. Finding Home is angsty and painful at times, but there is happiness and joy and love as with all of Leigh's books.
At the young age of fifteen, Leo Hendry has seen and suffered more than people two and three times his age. Abused for much of his life, Leo then watches as his father brutally murders his mother, and tries to burn the house down ... with he and his young sister still inside. Leo has no one besides his baby sister, Lila, and the two are placed in foster home after foster home until they wind up with the Poulton family. Distrustful and angry, Leo isn't prepared for them, especially not their son, Charlie. He has no idea how to live in a house where he doesn't have to watch over his shoulder every moment or be afraid to go to sleep at night. He's Lila's fierce protector, especially since Lila is deaf, and it takes him some time to get used to not having to be so vigilant. The more he's surrounded by the love and peace of the Poulton family, the more unsettled he gets ... except when he's with Charlie.
Charlie de Sousa, adopted by Reg and Kate, is used to children coming into and out of their home for as long as can remember. What he can't remember is ever feeling a connection to anyone the way he does with Leo. Sure Leo is prickly and sometimes downright mean, but Charlie being the sensitive boy he is, can see through all of Leo's walls. He's drawn to Leo in a way that confuses him, but it also gives him purpose and a sense of rightness he can't ignore. Neither can he resist going to Leo anytime Leo's nightmares become too much for his young soul to take.
As you'd expect with the subject matter, there is a sense of melancholy and heaviness to the book, but this is offset by the beautiful, fragile relationship between Leo and Charlie. These two boys need one another so desperately that you can't help but want to hold them close and protect them from all the world's hurts. In true YA fashion, Finding Home is more about the emotional connection and intimacy than anything physical, and here, it really fits the theme and atmosphere of the book. Finding Home is about the journey to find peace and safety and ultimately love. I loved the entire family dynamics in the Poulton home. Reg and Kate are amazing people and Fliss and Andy rounded out the family nicely. I loved how Lila's deafness was shown as just a part of who she is, not as a hindrance of any kind. And the growth of both Charlie and especially Leo was so achingly lovely.
I'm so impressed by Finding Home and I surely hope this is not the last YA offering Garrett Leigh gives us readers. I'm a HUGE YA fan, these are the books that speak so much to my heart. Be sure to check this book out guys, it's excellent and everything you've come to expect from a super talented author.
About Garrett Leigh
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.
Garrett's debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.
When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.
Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.
Cover art enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
To celebrate the release of Finding Home, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 14, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!